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Gardner Takes Rally While Ayson Takes Series


25 OCTOBER 2013

Gardner Takes rally While ayson Takes Series

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Photograph of Gore pictured on the Catlins Coast Rally earlier in the year - Photo credit Ben Wilson.

There were two major winners at the conclusion of the 2013 MLT/Heartland Hotels/Ernslaw One Limited Rankleburn Rally in West Otago last Saturday.

Rhys Gardner of Balclutha and co-driver Alex Ramsay of Dunedin won the event in Gardner's recently acquired ex-Dean Sumner NZ Rally Championship winning Mitsubishi EVO 9.5 while Derek Ayson won the Laird Motorsport Southern Rally Series for the third time after previously winning it in 2005 and 2006. However Ayson's series title was notable for the fact that it was the first time the title has been won in a 2-wheel-drive car. Meanwhile Gardner's co-driver Alex Ramsay took the overall co-drivers title.   

Gardner won the day blasting through the five Special Stages, winning every one to take victory by 1 minute 11 seconds from Invercargill crew and second seeds Carter Strang/Stewart Robbie in their EVO 6. Strang was second to Gardner on all but one stage. Third went to Neville and Hannah Krammer of Wallacetown in their older Subaru Legacy, the husband and wife team going one better than their fourth place last year. Gardner said it had been a "smooth day" and that the new car was "incredibly well set up."

Gore driver Jim McDonald with Michael Gunn snared fourth pace after a fine drive in their EVO 5 with Derek Ayson of Gore joined by Heather Johnston for this event fifth in their 2-wheel-drive Nissan powered Ford Escort, the first 2-wheel-drive car home.  

Overseas based kiwi Jason Keach with Blair McLaren performing the co-driver duties made a huge impression, sitting in third place overall after three stages including a second to Gardner through the third stage. He was slowed by gearbox problems in his Subaru Impreza WRX later in the day but still finished sixth overall.

Balclutha crews Barry Mills/Mark Allington (Hillman Avenger) and Paul Goatley/Brad Gray (Nissan Bluebird Turbo) were next while Steve Morris/Gavin Read (EVO 5) and Murray Marshall/Duncan McCrostie (Subaru Impreza WRX) were ninth equal.

Shaun McMillan of Invercargill was a non finisher after a radiator hose problem in the fourth stage after setting top ten times in the first three stages including two fourth fastest times. Newcomer Hamish Wilton retired with an engine problem in the second stage.

In the Laird Motorsport Southern Rally Series class titles Carter Strang won Class D for drivers, Barry Mills Class C, Craig Cormack of Gore Class B and Peter Fridd of Oamaru Class A. Ross Moody of Balclutha took the Class D co-drivers title, Heather Johnston Class C, Janey Blair Class B and Cherie Fridd Class A.     

The event was the third and final round of the Laird Motorsport Southern Rally Series 2013 and also part of the Eastern Southland Car Club Rally Championship.

Lindsay Beer
on behalf of the Eastern Southland Car Club



1st - Derek Ayson
2nd - Rhys Gardner
3rd - Jim McDonald

1st - Carter Strang
2nd - Dean Bond
3rd - Hayden Paddon

1st - Barry Mills
2nd - Dean McCrostie
3rd - James Worker

1st - Craig Cormack
2nd - Kevin Laird 
3rd - Malcolm Budd

1st - Peter Fridd
2nd - Carl Morris
3rd - Scott Levings


1st - Alex Ramsay
2nd - Michael Gunn
3rd - Stewart Robbie

1st - Ross Moody
2nd= - John Kennard 
2nd= - Jared Leebody 

1st - Heather Johnston
2nd - Mark Allington
3rd - Regan Little

1st - Janey Blair
2nd - Regan Little
3rd - Robert McRae

1st - Cherie Fridd
2nd - Ian Morris
3rd= - Timothy Reid
3rd = - Joshua Lankshear   


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